Vaseline Intensive Care Healing Serum Cures Dry Skin Without the Shiny Mess

Vaseline Intensive Care Healing SerumEach winter my skin gets dry. It feels like I’m always putting on lotion. Sometimes, it cracks. Hopefully, I’m able to catch it before that point and I haul out the tub of Vaseline to apply liberally to affected areas. Then, I try not to let any of my clothes, sheets, towels, or furniture touch the affected area.

Vaseline Intensive Care Healing Serum is the perfect in-between step. From my two-week test of the product I’d estimate that it adds 90% of the moisture of a traditional Vaseline application without the skin coating that rubs off on everything. Leaving a smooth feel, the serum soaks in quickly just like its lotion counterparts.

The smell is a bit on the grandma side of the scent spectrum but for that sort of relief, I was willing to deal. Plus, it wasn’t overpowering.

If you’re looking for a step up moisturizer to get you through the last of the furnace season, give Vaseline Intensive Care Healing Serum a try.

image courtesy of StyleBistro

From Wedding to Work: 10 Transitional J. McLaughlin Spring Dresses

I love shopping at J. McLaughlin for versatile dresses that fit everyday situations. From a date night at the theater to a work meeting to a friend’s wedding, these dresses are all easily accessorized up or down for any springtime occasion:

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Mia Sleeveless Dress in Mosaic ($205) – Made from wrinkle-free Catalina Cloth, this dress says wedding and work with a touch of after-work party thrown in depending on how you accessorize it.

Myknonos Maxi Dress in Rope Chain ($245) – If your friend is getting married on the beach, this maxi dress is the perfect excuse to go nautical. Pair it with a long cardigan or jean jacket at work when you can’t quite make it to the beach.

Lola Dress in Neo Ikat ($225) – The cut of this dress mean it’s perfect for all sorts of situations- baby shower, work, wedding, and cocktails at the pier. The classic color scheme means this is one you can wear year after year.

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The Swing Dress ($215) – 60s inspired, this dress makes you want to spin around with your arms out like a child pretending to be a princess. Change up your jewelry and shoes to make this dress go from work to wedding to your next girls night flawlessly.

Sage Dress in Amhurst ($225) – I love a patter that’s just confusing enough it’s elegant but not contrived. This Sage Dress fits that bill and then some. Show with flats, this dress can be perfect for a more casual wedding, a rehearsal dinner, or bridal shower.

Gillian Dress in Jewel Box ($225) – Heading to a more conservative wedding? The neckline and sleeves on this dress are grandma approved while providing a sneak of sexy with the “v” notch at the neck. Plus, the pattern is elegant without being too formal.

Lila Wrap Dress in Ainsley ($225) – This dress screams spring. Whether you’re wearing it to Easter Sunday services or attending a tea party, bridal shower, or garden wedding, this dress will fit the bill. The bright color palate means it moves easily into the conference room eliciting envious stares from co-workers.

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Darcy Jacquard Dress ($215) – Delightfully feminine while office appropriate, this dress is perfect for a Friday night wedding after you’ve spent the day explaining why a marketing pitch by your intern isn’t going to work while juggling conference calls.

Pirouette Dress in Off White ($198) – This white dress is probably the most versatile in this post. Flirty and fun, the dress will get your from work to a wedding without blinking an eye. Even better is that the color is the perfect background for trying out your entire wardrobe of statement necklaces.

Devon Dress in Gazebo ($215) – What says, “There are not enough bathrooms in these plans,” while at the same time saying, “Where’s the gift table?” This dress. It’s slimming, it’s fun but not overpowering. It’s pretty much perfect for every dress-up situation.

all images courtesy of JMcLaughlin

La Perla Showcases New Direction at Atlanta Boutique

La Perla Buckhead AtlantaKnown for their edgy style dripping with sexiness, La Perla is bringing femininity to the forefront at their new Buckhead Atlanta location.

The luxury shopping district location is an extension of the brand that showcases the new image of its retail arm, a shift that started with the flagship stores in Milan and London in February 2014 as part of a glocal relaunch after the brand was acquired by holding company Pacific Global Management, headed by Silvio Scaglia.

The 1,870 square feet of space invites shoppers to think of lingerie as a second skin as they browse among the architectural work of Roberto Baciocchi, founder of the internationally renowned architectural studio Baciocchi & Associati from Arezzo, Italy. He also has taken the reins for designs of Prada, Miu Miu and Church’s stores.

The store’s design is clearly inspired by classic Italian architecture. References to the work of Carlo Scarpa from the Castelvecchio Museum in Verona can be found in the soft, dusty coloured walls dressed in painted fabric, and in the display cases within the store.

The ultra-feminine range of colour shades, from pale blue, through dusky pink to daffodil yellow, plays on the luxurious essentiality of the hexagonal Portuguese marble slabs. Severity and softness are also found where the paving meets the rugs and silk tub armchairs in the same pastel tones as the walls, highlighting the brand’s luxe image.

Arches lined in pink onyx are featured inside each window and La Perla creations are displayed in transparent cases with gilded metalhangers or presented to customers on velvet-lined trays.

One of the main features of the new La Perla project is the gateway in front of the fitting rooms: a symbolic element that marks this space devoted to intimacy, creating an exclusive place in which femininity reigns. The fitting rooms, featuring amethyst-coloured walls, are defined by backlit tulle panelling, creating a light, mellow and comfortable space. Another element is the metal grate feature that recalls ancient confessionals, and a “Service” bell for calling a member of the sales staff.

Quite simply, lingerie heaven.

If you can’t make it to Atlanta, don’t worry. The redesign will be unveiled in the main La Perla boutiques, which includes Macau, Hong Kong, New York and Paris, throughout the coming year.

image credit: Ben Rose Photography

Neil George Shampoo and Conditioner Perfect for Unisex Use

Neil George Shampoo ConditionerFloral or musky? Those are usually the scent profiles you’ll find when looking for shampoo. That is, unless you go for something I like to call the “ingredient” scents- pomegranate, honey, oatmeal- you know what I’m talking about. Certainly it’s hard to find something a husband and wife can agree on for both care, treatment, and scent left on tresses.

Introducing… Neil George. If you need moisture that won’t leave you feeling greasy and a scent that is fresh that you both will agree on, that’s the shampoo and conditioner you need.

I admit, I packed it on a weekend getaway as part of an experiment to see what my husband would say. Then he didn’t mention it. He didn’t ask if I packed his shampoo and he didn’t touch what the hotel had offered. In this relationship, I knew what that was all about. Radio silence means approval.

Using the shampoo and conditioner combo left my hair seek but not overly saturated in the dry beach conditions.

Now when we vacation, we’ll only be bringing one shampoo and conditioner and you know what that means- more room for shoes!

Get the Look: Reem Acra’s Fall/Winter 2015/2016 Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week Hair

Reem AcraAtlanta area hair artists from Salon Soda were back at it making hair magic at Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week this week. Reem Acra’s Fall/Winter 2015/16 collection made a big impression last night at New York Fashion Week as modern day Mary Antoinettes sashayed down the runway with whimsical styled hair produced by Didier Malige, Rene Furterer and Soda Salon stylists.

Here’s how to get the wavy curls look for yourself with tips from SODA RUNWAY team member Azita Rezaei:

  • Start by creating a lot of texture using Renee Furterer Volumea spray. For this particular look, dilute the Volumea Spray by 50% with water, creating a sort of “beach spray”, and then apply the spray to the end of the roots. 
  • Make a center part and comb the hair to flatten the top.
  • Create a soft finger wave on each side of the head from the temple to behind the ear by creating a swoop with your fingers & setting the hair in place with hair pins.
  • Softly dry the hair using a blow dryer and diffuser.
  • Use a 3/4 inch curling iron, opening the clamp and wrapping one inch of the sections around just the barrel to give it a natural wave.
  • To finish the look, remove the hair pins to reveal soft finger waves.
image courtesy of Reem Acra

The Essential Guide to Drybar for First Time Customers

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I tell people I went to Drybar to get a blowout and they’re like, “Okay, what is Drybar?” Here’s what you need to know before you go:

It’s blowouts.
No cuts.
No color.
It’s just that simple.

But, really, it’s not because Drybar offers a customer experience that is more than just great hair and it starts when you walk in the door.

Appointments – No appointments are necessary for Drybar services though you can make an appointment before you go.

Price – A blowout is only $40. Yes, $40, and that includes a wash. Want to go more than once a month? Drybar offers a $75/month Barfly membership that includes two blowouts plus a free birthday blowout. Plus, Barfly members only pay $35 for every additional blowouts.      Continue reading

Get the Look: Ji Oh’s Fall 2015 Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week Hair

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The South goes north this week for Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week and Atlanta’s own Adam Margarin from Soda Salon produced runway-worthy looks for Ji Oh’s Fall 2015 presentation at Pop14 early this afternoon.

Ji+Oh+Presentation+Mercedes+Benz+Fashion+Week+AUtFo9wt60PlModels were styled with looks giving style and edge to the designs using Rene Furterer products. Starting with the brand’s Volumea Spray and Mousse on wet hair to give it grit and texture, stylists then hand dried the hair leaving a natural texture that was able to be easily manipulated into a ponytail which was then swept forward for a Faux -Bang with soft natuarla pieces falling out around the perimeter.

Here’s how to get the look for yourself:

  • Prep hair with Rene Furterer Volumea Spray and Mousse
  • Hand dry to leave natural texture
  • Use an elastic and create a ponytail that can be pulled up into a faux bang
  • Pin hair across the top of head to keep in place
  • Give the faux fringe a soft sweep to the side
  • Pull down soft pieces around the perimeter of head
  • Finish with Rene Furterer Gloss spray

images source: Noam Galai/Getty Images North America

Four Sexy Cocktails to Make for Valentine’s Day

First Kiss LiDestriThey’re pink and they pack a punch. Plus, they’re just sexy enough to dress up your Valentine’s Day whether it’s before you go out of after you get back. Here are four of my favorite pink cocktails:

First Kiss
1 part chilled LiDestri Pink Limoncello 
2 parts sparkling wine garnished with fresh berries
Mix ingredients together. Serve in a champagne flute.

Pink Passion
1 part chilled LiDestri Pink Limoncello 
2 parts cranberry juice 
Mix ingredients together and serve on the rocks, topped off with 7up. 

Pinktini
Pink Limoncello
Gin or Vodka
Shake with gin or vodka in a ratio of your choosing.

The Ice Cream Bar’s Peach Lady
1 oz The Ice Cream Bar Peach Lambic Ice Cream
.5 oz Raspberry Liqueur (substitute with any berry liqueur)
4 oz dry champagne or prosecco
Pour raspberry liqueur into bottom of chilled flute glass. Pour champagne in halfway, letting bubbles settle. Drop in 1 scoop of Peach Lambic. Serve immediately (and watch the magic happen)

Need something to nosh on with your drinks? Have nibbles of dark chocolate available or go all out and make this amazing and classic version of strawberry shortcake.

Guy’s Guide to the Perfect DIY Valentine’s Day Beauty Basket

Valentine's Day Beauty Gifts 2015

Want to get your wife or girlfriend a Valentine’s Day gift but not sure what get her? Skip jewelry from Jared, a Whitman’s Sampler, and the romantic smell of burning risotto as you scramble to make her the perfect meal. Here’s what you do:

Head to the craft store. Go to Michaels, Hobby Lobby, or JoAnn Fabrics and get a basket and some filler. You can usually find a basket for under $10 that will fit everything you want to put in it and for filler, feel free to go as cheap as possible without looking like it’s Easter. Get bonus points by downloading the store apps and using coupons they always have available.

Fill the basket. Sure, you could go to her salon and talk to her stylist about what products she should splurge on but who has time for that?! Here’s what you buy:

  • Drybar – Swing by the blowouts emporium and grab their Texas Tea Volumizing Hair Spray and Southern Belle Volumizing Mousse. The two products are staples of Drybar stylists and worth every penny.
  • Bobbi Brown – The brand’s Foundation Stick is something someone who receives this basket will fall in love with over and over again. The color is build-able meaning she puts on how much or how little she wants. Women love options.
  • Bluemercury – After a long winter, she’ll thank you for adding a pack of M-61 Power Glow Peel facial treatments to her basket. The one-minute, one-step treatments are perfect for a woman on the go.
  • Silhouette by Christian Siriano – Inspired by tulle, this playful but dusty fragrance has notes of  cassis, jasmine, rose and freesia which make it mature while still being fresh and fun.
  • Nars – Women have been screaming the praises of Nars products for years and two of my favorites are perfect for just about any woman – their Orgasm Illuminator (a lightweight versatile liquid that can be used all over the face) and Super Orgasm Lip Gloss (a pink gloss that gives sophisticated shine with just a small punch of color).
  • amika – The company’s Nourishing Mask is one of the highest rated, best-selling products on birchbox.com with good reason- it’s AMAZING! The product will make her hair silky after a winter of dry air and blowdryer abuse without weighing it down, something she’ll appreciate.

Make her a card. Listen to Nick Offerman’s advice here (skip to 3:14 for the advice, watch it all for the laughs). Do as he says, trust me.

5 Things to Love About The Cosmetic Market

The Cosmetic MarketLast week I was invited to experience The Cosmetic Market at Avalon in Alpharetta, Georgia. The friendly and helpful personnel gave me a tour of the store, filled me up with mimosas and shortcake, and showed me why they aim to be a fun space to shop and explore everything beauty. I was instantly hooked. Here’s why:

1.)  It’s locally owned. Not only is The Cosmetic Market a brand born in the South, it’s a female-owned company.

2.)  It’s not just about make-up. Sure, you think “cosmetic” you think lipstick, blush, and eyeshadow. They have those- and plenty of them. But, they also have waxing, spray tanning, and a wide variety of aesthetic services.

3.)  They’ve teamed with Bliss. If you’re in the know about hot spots to get a massage you’ve probably heard of the Bliss chain of beauty and spa products and services to offer the Bliss Wax Bar to locations of The Cosmetic Market. No appointment is necessary to get facial waxing, brow tinting, or lash tinting though appointments can be made in advance of your visit.

4.)  It’s fun, funky, and not intimidating. Even though I write a beauty blog, I’m still intimidated every time I walk into Sephora. The dark tones, black plastic with no smudges on it, and tight quarters make me want to shop online despite the great products they offer. Avalon’s The Cosmetic Market location offers a fun, funky, and open shopping atmosphere with oranges and blues mixed with whites on the walls while stainless steel fixtures and spacious digs invite browsing. Plus, there’s a circle motif that carries from the store’s exterior to interior that’s just awesome.

5.)  There’s a wide variety of products. It’s not all their line of products like you’ll find at a Bare Minerals store or counters of product like you’ll find at a department store. The Cosmetic Market has hundreds of brands to choose from. If you get your make-up done by a store professional like I did, you’ll probably see them pulling from five or six different sections to achieve the perfect look for your skin tone and occasion.

Another thing I loved about The Cosmetic Market? Everyone was SO friendly! The whole experience made me want to shop there again ASAP- and I will!